Keynote Address - "Digital <Dis>Orders" - 7th Annual Graduate Conference Cluster of Excellence "The Formation of Normative Orders"

Dr. Zach Blas

Friday, 18 November, 18:00-19:00

Goethe University Frankfurt am Main, Campus Westend, Building "Normative Orders", EG.01














Despite the recent proliferation of critical surveillance studies, which aims to explicate the endless tools and techniques of today’s surveillance infrastructures, few scholars take seriously—let alone make their focus—practices and imaginaries of counter—surveillance, often relegating them as mere anecdotes, spoofs, or bloopers. Yet, in the aftermath of so much critiquing and diagnosing of the contemporary surveillance landscape, countersurveillance practices are exactly what is needed to actualize the intellectual and political frustrations at the core of critical surveillance studies, even if such practices are diffi cult and challenging to implement, create, and sustain. Notably, it is artistic practice that has been at the forefront of such counter surveillance activities and imaginaries. With this in mind, my talk will introduce a body of artwork I am currently developing, titled “Contra-Internet.” Contra-Internet broadly addresses the emerging militancies and subversions of the internet as a site of global surveillance and control. Amid rampant dataveillance and social media monoculture, “the internet” has become something that is extremely difficult to articulate an outside or alternative to. Conversely, Contra-Internet gives a theoretical consistency to the practical and imaginative work being done to create
network alternatives to the internet.

Zach Blas is an artist and writer whose practice engages technics and minoritarian politics. Currently, he is a Lecturer at the Department of Visual Cultures at  Goldsmiths, University of London. Blas has exhibited and lectured internationally. His recent works respond to technological control, biometric governmentality, and network hegemony. He earned a Ph.D. in Literature at Duke University and his Master degree in Design Media Arts at University of California, Los Angeles.




  • Dr. Zach Blas (London)
  • Dr. Zach Blas (London)
  • Dr. Zach Blas (London)
  • Dr. Zach Blas (London)
  • Dr. Zach Blas (London)
  • Ben Kamis (Politologe am Exzellenzcluster "Die Herausbildung normativer Ordnungen")


Presented by:
The Cluster of Excellence "The Formation of Normative Orders" in cooperation with Internet TBD and the University for Art and Design, Offenbach am Main


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